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Puerto Rico Still Waiting For Help 7 Weeks After Hurricane Maria

What can we say about the US response to hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico? Most of the island remains without power. Many places are still difficult to get to, the infrastructure is completely messed up. Clean water is not a given and food is scarce, particulalrly in remote areas in the mountains. It seems like the US government did a better job responding to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti than taking care of its own citizens in 2017. Then again, that was a different administration back then. It’s difficult to justify the complete negligence on the part of the Trump administration to aid Puerto Rico and the millions of Americans there that are suffering. When you look at it rationally the only conclusion that can be drawn is that Trump and his cronies in the White House and congress simply don’t care.

When you think about how much effort they did put in and continue to do in Texas and Florida it becomes clear that there is a huge difference. But why? Puerto Ricans are just as much Americans as Texans or Floridians. Could it be that they are Latino? That many of them are people of color? Perhaps it’s that Puerto Rico does not produce as much capital as oil rich Texas or vacation paradise Florida? I think it’s a combination of all of these factors. I doubt that before the hurricane Trump even knew that Puerto Ricans were American citizens. San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto seems to think that the government simply views them as second class citizens because of their status as a protectorate. She said,

“It may be easy to try to disregard us. It may be easy because we’re a U.S. territory and a colony of the United States. But we are people dammit and I don’t care what the political status is.”

It’s hard to argue with that. Trump just doesn’t care.


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